Shelby Academy keeping doors open

Published 2:12 pm Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Shelby Academy Headmaster Steven Zaslofsky came into his job last summer ready to squash rumors that the school’s doors were barely cracked open.

He said six months later he’s still fighting, “just rumors.”

“We’ve been fighting the rumor that we were going to close all year, and it’s my understanding the school has been fighting the rumors for the last 38 years,” Zaslofsky said.

Numbers at the school have steadily declined over the past four years. In 2005, 211 students filled desks. That number decreased to 160 students the next year, 135 in 2007 and finally to 125 students this year.

Zaslofsky said he believes the school gained a reputation of not focusing on what’s most important –– academics.

“Because the school had been so successful for several years, I don’t believe anyone actively recruited new students or worked to retain those that they had,” Zaslofsky said. “That has to change. We have to make sure we show the people trusting us with their children’s education that we genuinely appreciate working with them.”

Zaslofsky said Shelby Academy’s enrollment began dropping several years ago and has continued to drop this year.

To turn numbers in the other direction, he said the school revamped its Web site last summer. Zaslofsky said he hopes to push recruitment harder in the Spring by putting out fliers and direct mail pieces.